(video) A conversation on posthuman transitions
With transgender transhumanist Khannea Suntzu and filmmaker Brian den Hartog.
This is a conversation with my old friend Khannea Suntzu, best known as a transgender transhumanist, and filmmaker Brian den Hartog. This video is also on YouTube, and and the audio-only version is in the Turing Church podcast.
“His films are born from a documentary origin: A character, phenomena or event that triggers him to explore. From there he starts his research which he eventually translates into a filmic universe that immerges the viewer in an experience in which the lines between what's real and what's not - between documentary and fiction - start to dissolve.”
Brian is best known for his short documentary “A Dialogue with Cyberspace” (2018).
“Currently, Brian is researching the contemporary perception of self, both in his new film ‘Khannea’ and in an interdisciplinary work, for which he collaborates with various artists and scientists.”
WHAT? A film on Khannea? I had to know more.
Khannea is one of the smartest and most perceptive persons I know (too bad she doesn’t realize that she is). I first met her in the virtual world of Second Life (remember that?) in the mid 2000s, and we became friends - she’s still my friend, she says, even if we disagree on most things. Then I met Khannea in the flesh at the TransVision 2010 conference that I organized in Milan in 2010.
For a glimpse into Khannea’s mind see her comments to my post “Trans what?”
Khannea plays herself in the first part of the film. Then, the film will follow a posthuman Khannea in the future (2100 or so). Now, I’m only a few years older than Khannea and I don’t think I’ll live that long in this body. But perhaps Aubrey de Grey and Martine Rothblatt could be right? Or maybe my own even weirder ideas could be right? And what could the world of the future be like?
We talked about all that, Terasem, reverse-engineering the promises of religions, old friends who logged off too soon (there’s one very moving story, but I’ll leave it for you to find), and the future of the Virtual Reality metaverse.
Khannea doesn’t do virtual worlds anymore (hearing that she now prefers the real world was music to my ears), but her words on the future of VR are likely to energize all metaverse enthusiasts.
The image above titled “Cyborg Afternoon” was produced by my friend Lincoln Cannon with the assistance of the Midjourney Artificial Intelligence (AI) program that creates images from textual descriptions. Future AI systems will create avatars and entire VR worlds.
There are many transitions here. But to me, the most important is the transition of Khannea from a very unhappy “digital person” (as they said in the mid/late 2000s) in a less than real world to an entirely real person who pursues happiness in the real world. Khannea is a success story.